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North Korea

Volume 202: debated on Tuesday 21 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what information he has about how North Korea was able to build a military grade plutonium production reactor outside international safeguards based on blueprints of the United Kingdom military magnox plants at Calder hall, Sellafield.

Technical information about the Magnox reactors at Calder hall, Sellafield has been in the public domain for over 25 years. We continue to urge the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to fulfil her obligations under the non-proliferation treaty and sign an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency which would place all of her nuclear facilities under safeguards.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the United Kingdom as a depository state for the nuclear non-proliferation treaty was consulted by the respective Governments of North and South Korea during their recent successful negotiations to establish a full nuclear safeguards inspection regime at nuclear facilities in North Korea.

The recent joint declaration between the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea which provides, inter alia, for mutual inspection of each other's nuclear facilities is a wholly bilateral agreement which does not fall within the remit of the treaty on the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons—NPT. While we naturally welcome the conclusion of the agreement, we still look to the DPRK to fulfil her obligations under the NPT and sign a fullscope safeguards agreement with the IAEA.